The first Medical Forum session began with a timeline to mark the milestones for medical or dental school applications. Everyone already knew each other as they had trespassed at least one of the A2/A1 sessions.
We learned about the four pillars of medical ethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy and justice. John Wilson gave scenarios in which we were expected to apply the pillars (in other words a Situational Judgement for Beginners course). This allowed us to shift seamlessly into the NHS and its values.
Over the following weeks, we had discussions on issues in NHS, particularly problems that had arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic backlog. We debated the effects of the not-so-new Health and Social Care Levy and debated possible solutions for the fusing of health and social care.
We had a session where we attempted to condense what we had read in the abstract of an article on Herceptin in the treatment of Breast Cancer. It feels nice to say that I could understand a scientific paper without my head hurting.
The initial drafting of a personal statement was a bit terrifying. We had already reviewed a sample and outlined important parts of a personal statement. The temptation to reconsider how crazy or how slim -depending on how you want to see it- the chances of getting into medical school are is ever-present.
The one-day UCAT course held by the school gave me and all who attended (personal belief) a new perspective on preparation for the exams. Dr Shahab, the co-founder of ‘Become a Dentist’, took us through the types of questions as well as methods for answering them.
As an international student, the learning curve has been steep but with the aid of the teachers and counsellors at the Medical Forum, progress has and is being made continuously.